Bhubaneswar Salia Sahi Dwellers Term Eviction As Illegal

Bhubaneswar: Residents of Salia Sahi slum has termed the eviction drive ordered by the administration, for a six-lane parallel road in between Jaydev Vihar and Patia Square, as illegal and a violation of their rights.

A member of Salia Sahi Anchalika Committee, Jayadev Nayak, alleged that the administration is violating the law blatantly. The slum is situated on forest land and people have been residing in the area for over 30 years.

The slum dwellers have the right to stay on the land and neither State nor Central Government can evict them. There is a need to protect the fundamental rights of the slum dwellers, he added.

Sital Nayak, who has been staying in Salia Sahi for over 20 years, said that the administration has warned of demolishing the houses built in the slum therefore he is shifting some of his belongings to a safer place.

He alleged that the administration have not consulted them prior to taking the decision and even not arranged for their rehabilitation. The administration is adamant on its decision on evicting the area needed for extension of the road.

Reportedly, the eviction drive is being carried by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) in collaboration with Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Commissionerate Police to facilitate a vacant lane for the emergency vehicles, which get stuck in traffic congestion in Bhubaneswar.

There are plans to build a six-lane road (three-lane each) on either side of the road connecting Jaydev Vihar and Patia square. However, Salia Sahi dwellers have been protesting the eviction drive demanding the implementation of the Forest Rights Act and 20×30 square foot residential plot within the City.

Jayadev Nayak, Member, Salia Sahi Anchalika Committee

Sital Nayak, Resident, Salia Sahi